Roy Hibbert contests a Kevin Garnett shot. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)
A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.
C: The Point Forward. Apparently, just having the best defense in the NBA last season wasn't enough for the Indiana Pacers. Now they're working on being the best defense of the past decade or so. Rob Mahoney takes a closer look at how the NBA's stingiest defense has gotten even stingier this season, which should set up a really interesting showdown with another top-flight defensive squad, the New York Knicks, at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.
PF: A Wolf Among Wolves. A good read from William Bohl on two of the more surprising sources of early-season offense for the blitzing Minnesota Timberwolves — Ricky Rubio's odd off-hand layups and spindly Kevin Martin working out of the post.
SF: The Triangle and Hang Time. Today's installment of "Are the Portland Trail Blazers for real?" features Zach Lowe breaking down the way Terry Stotts has changed Portland's pick-and-roll coverage concepts and John Schuhmann wondering whether hot starts shooting the ball and in the overall play of the Blazers' bench are sustainable for the long haul.
SG: San Antonio Express-News. A good read from Jeff McDonald on some of the challenges that come with the NBA's new SportVU optical player-tracking technology, as voiced by San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich: "Sometimes your personnel can't do what maybe the numbers say you should be doing. Just because the numbers say, 'Do this,' maybe it doesn't work that way. In a perfect world or in a vacuum it does, but everybody has different players, too.”
PG: 48 Minutes of Hell. Speaking of the Spurs, SportVU and optimal personnel usage, Matthew Tynan uses eye-in-the-sky numbers and eyes-on-the-tape groundwork to argue that while most of the nation might remember Tiago Splitter best for his NBA Finals failings, the Brazilian big man's proving himself worth every last cent of his new contract.
7th: SB Nation. And speaking of the ways statistical analysis falls short, here's Joakim Noah chatting with James Herbert: "People think it’s a game of math. It’s not math, it’s chemistry."
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